You’ve planned the wedding. Debated ranunculus over hydrangeas, a band versus a DJ, and perhaps the most taxing, done the seating! You’ve said your “I dos”, and it’s all over. After a whirlwind of adrenaline, inevitably, there is a bit of a come-down…but before you can catch your breath, its on to your honeymoon. A honeymoon can be organized in a variety of ways – come prefer escaping to a resort, where days are spent lounging by a pool. Others prefer to strike out to new lands and explore a new culture together. You will be exhausted no matter what, but the idea of what energizes people varies so much. Dreaming of reading a book without interruption? Or are you the type who prefers to be social and meet others on vacation?
If the idea of great beaches and fabulous dining are on your list of criteria, look no further than St. Barths. This storied island in the Caribbean is a mix of “just hard enough” to get to, ensuring an elevated, unique experience. The reason the island has so many repeat visitors is because there are so many types of vacations to have here: you can choose to explore the beaches in the early morning, stop for croissants at a local bakery, and spend the day largely just the two of you. Or, walk through town, shopping at the myriad of designer stores and local boutiques, and spend the day partying at sunset at Nikki Beach. You’ll find laid bar beach bars on several of the island’s top beaches, and you can spend the afternoon in the sun with a ‘ti punch, aperol spritz, or whatever your vacation drink of choice is!
When it comes to accommodations, one of best thing about honeymooning in St Barts is that there are a great number of small private villas that the two of you can rent for your stay. Leading villa rental company WIMCO Villas offers personalized concierge service when you stay in one if its villas. While there are a dozen small yet stunning hotels on the island, staying in a villa allows couples to indulge in more space and privacy, while still benefiting from airport arrivals service, daily housekeeping, concierge service, plus wine and grocery deliveries.
Villa MJS in Flamands ranks as a honeymoon favorite, with its Balinese-inspired décor, views over the bay of Flamands, and proximity to the shops and restaurants of Gustavia. You can also choose to rent a one of WIMCO’s larger two or three bedroom villas, and pay a pro-rated one bedroom rate.
No matter the length of your journey to St. Barths, we’ve found something to be true: It feels great to arrive to your villa, turn on the Sonos, slip into a pair of linen pants and a t-shirt, and let someone else cook. We recommend a chef’s dinner at your villa the first night, which can be totally relaxed – start with summer roll spring rolls, a light grilled fish, a bottle of chilled Sancerre, and some coconut sorbet to make you feel at home. You can also arrange to have your villa provisioned in advance of your arrival… where you are greeted with chilled rose, a spread of camembert and Brie (the diet is over!), and a French baguette, plus all the usuals you like in your own home, like ground coffee, almond milk, and any other must-haves. The next day, wake up to fresh breakfast delivery by WIMCO at your door: pain au chocolat, fresh orange juice, and a café au lait.
For the beach-obsessed, several of St Barts famed beaches are preserves as natural zones, where no development is allowed. Head to Saline or Gouverneur beaches, where you’ll find a large swath of uninterrupted yellow sand. Sink your feet into the deep sand (perhaps taking a honeymoon selfie or two along the way), and dip into the oh-so-warm Caribbean sea.
You’ll also find lunch on the beach is du rigeur on the island. Opt for live music and barbeque at St. Jean’s Lil Rock, creole and grilled lobster at Flamands’ La Langouste, or have your own Out of Africa moment at Le Toiny Beach Club, where a Land Rover Defender will escort you to this rugged coastline. St. Jean’s Pearl Beach ranks as one of the best spots for a Mahi-Mahi burger and front-row seats to the airport’s coming and goings. (The St. Barths airport is known for its tiny, and thrilling airport, whose planes take off and land next to St. Jean beach).
If a touch of nature is what you’re seeking, revel in the views via a guided nature hike to Grand Fond, where you’ll see goats roaming and views out to neighboring islands St. Kitts, Nevis, and Saba. Unspoiled beauty can also be found at Colombier beach, which can only be accessed by foot or by boat. Let us arrange a picnic lunch for two, surely one of the more romantic activities on the island.
While the countdown to the wedding certainly ushers in a slew of beauty treatments and fitness experiments, during the honeymoon, you might actually be able to relax during them! Fancy a couple’s massage at sunset, on the balcony of your villa? How about a pedicure while you lounge on your chaise at your pool? Choose from calming Kundalini Yoga or energizing Hatha Yoga from your deck, led by the finest teachers in St. Barths. All spa services can be set up chez-vous.
After a brief segue in health and wellness, your appetite might be whet for clean eating. Maya’s, one of St. Barths’ classic restaurants, features a daily-changing menu highlighting fresh produce from Guadeloupe and Martinique. Enjoy tomato mango salads, grilled local vivaneau (red snapper), and Maya’s specialty—the only semi-indulgent—flourless chocolate cake. If, however, you’re in the mood to truly indulge, there’s no shortage of dinner options in St. Barths: risotto and langoustines at Isola, foie gras followed by Grand Marnier souffles at Francois Plantation, or the truffle pizza at Sandbar. For those couples not quite ready to hang up their dancing shoes yet, you’ll find DJs and dancing on Wednesdays at La Guerite, Thursdays at Bagatelle, and Fridays at Bonito.
Whether its dancing into the wee hours, or waking up just as the sun rises, St. Barts suits all types of couples, in all variations of what speaks to them. Sometime in the thick of planning you may inevitably realize the wedding is more about pleasing others, while the honeymoon is refreshingly, satisfyingly, and supremely all about the two of you.